The Pittsburgh Pirates have been trying to trade for an outfielder the last few weeks without success. So while general manager Neal Huntington continues to look for an established bat, he has decided to call up his best hitting prospect to fill the void in the interim.
Starling Marte was recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis on Wednesday night. He will join the Pirates in Houston on Thursday night for the opener of their four-game series with the Astros. Reliever Evan Meek was sent down to Indy to create a roster spot.
Though primarily a center fielder, Marte will likely become Pittsburgh's left fielder -- center is manned by National League MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen. The Pirates have been platooning Alex Presley and Drew Sutton in left field recently.
Marte, 24, was having a fine season for Indianapolis. In 98 games, he hit .286 with 20 doubles, 13 triples, 12 home runs, 61 RBI and 21 stolen bases. He won the Eastern League batting title last season with a .332 average for Double-A Altoona.
Marte has never played in the major leagues. Baseball America ranked Marte as the 36th-best prospect in the game earlier this month.